TaxACT is highly recommended for people with relatively straightforward tax returns to prepare. TaxACT's appealing price and premium features makes it a top choice for many. The feature I like best is that TaxACT uses your tax return information to prepare a college financial aid worksheet. This will help parents and students in filling out their FAFSA applications. No other tax software offers FAFSA worksheets.
TaxBrain uses forms-style data entry screens to gather your tax information, which is very different than the interview-style screens found in TurboTax or H&R Block At Home. Personally, I much prefer this user-interface, and I find it provides faster tax preparation for straightforward tax returns. Taxpayers with more complex tax returns will need to spend extra time working with long, data-entry forms for business income, investments, and itemized deductions. TaxBrain works best for wage-earners with few deductions or other tax issues.
3. eSmart Tax
eSmart Tax features an interview-style interface that guides you through various data entry screens. By answering a few basic questions about types of income and deductions you have, eSmart Tax tailors the rest of the software to ask only those questions that are most relevant to your tax situation. eSmart Tax is the 2011 About.com Reader's Choice Award winner for best tax preparation software.
Quick and easy tax preparation in an updated interface, At Home is ideal for simple tax returns. H&R Block, the makers of TaxCut, have done a good job of making data entry screens easy to read. H&R Block offers "Worry-Free Audit Support," where an tax professional will help defend your return against an IRS audit, included in the price of the software.